We arrived at the hospital and met with our facilitator, the inspector, the representative of the orphanage and then we went to the head of the unit that our little girl is on. We were told to sit in the administrator's office while she described once again what we already know of her condition. She told us that she currently is fighting her second back to back case of pneumonia in both lungs. She came off of a ventilator yesterday and into a regular room but is still needing another 7-10 days of antibiotics. They are also giving an anti fungal drug to her. She has a congenital malformation of the chest we are told and with her cerebral palsy will always struggle with pneumonia's.
She asked if we had ever seen her or just pictures. We told her that we had seen pictures only. She told us that she didn't know how she could be transported since she never goes outside, only between the hospital and orphanage. As we discussed how we have prepared to transport her, she just shook her head. "Are you ready to see her? Are you committed to taking her?" We answered that we were and had planned for this for many months. She told the children to stay where they were in her office together and for just Gord and I to come. It was momentous with a line of officials being joined by nurses to watch this first introduction. I don't know what they or we expected from our first meeting but it was pure sweetness for me, hard to capture how sweet with mere words.
I saw this tiny little frame that looked like her photos but laboring to breathe and very gurggly sounding. She was dressed in a sunflower dress with tights and a matching hat for the occasion. Someone had taken good care of her. I had my back to the officials and didn't care what they were doing or thinking...I did care about what she thought. We went over to her crib and leaned over her, moving her hat and stroking her face and hair. It was hard to watch her struggle like she was. Her little mouth was open and so dry. She felt warm like with a fever though not hot and I know she didn't feel well. We started talking to her and telling her what was on our hearts for her and praying over her and stroking and telling her that we were her mamma and pappa come to bring her home, that she had to get well and that we would be back for her. A staff member from behind us told us that we could pick her up. We did and though she is straight and stiff from hips to feet, she molded in my arms in her upper body. I was able to whisper in her ears things and kiss her face and head. We stood swaying with her like a baby and talking to her like we did our newborns.
I know that she didn't understand our English words even if she understands them in Ukrainian or Russian. I hoped that she understood mamma and poppa. She focused her eyes on my face when it was lit by the window light. I think she sees some. Gord held her next and then we asked to bring the children. I held her again when they came and each quietly greeted her in their own way. Seeing her live was different for the children than her photo and sobering. We sang peace to her through the Aaronic blessing, Numbers 6:24-26
Our facilitator asked us if we wanted to proceed to file the adoption paperwork for court now that we had seen her. This is what we came here for. This little girl. Yes, we do.
The doctor had come in during this time, early on and was quizzing us about the equipment that we had and was telling us how much care she requires. She told us how hard it will be. Of course we only know in theory but we are signed on for the long haul. This is what God asked us to do. We told her, respectfully, that it is harder for our little girl.
She told us that the children may not come again to the hospital because they don't want her to get sick with the aggressive germs that children have. Then they told me that I might come every few days but not every day. We asked about Gord and they hesitated and said "maybe".
Some of the other staff spoke with us through our interpreter and the orphanage representative told us that she takes our little girl outside some every day. One of the nursing staff, a lady a bit older than the others gave us very direct and affirming/kind looks (not what you get from everyone here) and I believe that she understands and has been caring for our little girl. I am so grateful to these staff from the hospital and orphanage that give her gentle care. I've never seen anyone in her condition in the US and yet she begs gentleness.
Some medications needed to be purchased for our little girl and this came out of fees we had already paid. Our facilitator left us in the room to go and purchase these. While she was gone we took advantage of the time to continue touching and talking and praying for her. We had noticed that she seemed to be relaxing and her breathing slowing down. The nurses had noticed it too and the head nurse said to us, "You need to come back and talk to her everyday. She is better since you have talked to her and held her. Her breathing was hard since she came from ICU and now it is getting easier". We asked about going against the doctors earlier statement and she said "No, you need to come every day except not Saturday or Sunday." When we were across the room talking with the nurse, little girl turned towards our voices and looked like she was trying to see us.
We rubbed the pink blanket on our skin again and then left it in her hand, it being too hot to be covered with. Lord willing, we will see you tomorrow little one.
Once outside, our facilitator told us that the inspector was favorable to us. We had to leave and drive 45 minutes to our little girl's orphanage for some paperwork. We had been wanting to connect with an American that had contacted us on our blog after finding some photos of our little girl and recognizing that she had visited and loved on her in the orphanage the previous summer. She was in the town and at the orphanage this week. We didn't know exactly where to find her though and our facilitator needed us to go with her to a notary while she prepared more documents. While she was in the office, we had some water and ice cream as lunch had been missed during all of the running around. As we sat on this quiet street in this town in the country, some English speaking people came down the street returning from lunch. There she was! It was great fun meeting Jeanette and the other team members (thanks for the OT advice J) and once again the Lord's provision for us.
The day started with one child with a sick tummy and ended with another child with a sick tummy. And in between there was a husband with a sick stomach too. This was "a stone in the shoe" as we prayed for God's strength and help. Everytime someone needed facilities, we were right by them though we drove all over today for hours, and the final hurrah happened as we were pulling up to the apartment and not when we still had a 40 minute drive. Of course, as soon as we were home, all were well.